Tottenham’s hopes of qualifying for Europe were dealt a blow as they were held to a scoreless draw against Bournemouth, with manager Jose Mourinho once again criticising VAR.
Throughout his career, the Portuguese has not been slow to lay the blame at officials but has been particularly prickly over the subject of the new system and referee Michael Oliver, who disallowed Harry Kane’s equaliser in a 3-1 loss to Sheffield United.
On Thursday, he felt his side should have been awarded an early penalty when Kane appeared to be shoved in the back, yet it was overlooked and an uninspired display from his side failed to break the resistance of their opponents.
“The game has the most important moment and I don’t want to say any more in relation to that. Everybody knows. You know who, you know when… Everybody knows,” he told Sky Sports.
“The same referee who did the VAR decision against Sheffield United – Michael Oliver. Opinions matter. It’s not only mine, everybody knows that is a penalty and when I say everybody, I mean everybody. Everybody.
“I’m not saying Harry Kane 100% would score but his penalty range is high so usually we could win 1-0 against teams.”
Mourinho, however, was aware there were shortcomings with his side after the early drama.
“The performance was not good enough,” he admitted. “Bournemouth surprised me in the way they played. It was a good result for them and they got the point they wanted. We were dominant behind but then there was lack of sharpness in the attacking areas. I made changes; I think the changes helped to improve the game in the last half but we didn’t score.”
“I prefer to say the team understood it was more intense they were played, with certain levels of fatigue clearly for some players, like Moussa Sissoko and Giovani Lo Celso.
“I feel I got enough desire and they couldn’t give more today. For me it wasn’t a surprise but there’s always a negative when you have a huge penalty decision against you.”
Tottenham have a north London derby to look forward to against Arsenal on Sunday, before a home match against top-four chasing Leicester is sandwiched between trips to Newcastle and Crystal Palace as their campaign draws to a belated close.